Can’t Women All Just Get Along?…

Skinny women, fluffy women, in between women? I’ve been in 2 out of 3 of those categories, and I get tired of the evil looks. All I ever did was walk by and be nice to you. I know that look because I used to get it from people that said they were friends.

I woke up thinking of that song “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor. The line that makes me giggle is when she says “I’m bringing booty back”. I love that this song became a mainstream song that celebrates the big girl.

I’ve been friends with my share of fluffy women, and honestly, I wish I was them. I always wished I was them. It’s a shame that only a certain type of woman is seen as beautiful and even sexy, because the truth of the matter is that guys really do like “a little more booty to hold at night.” Besides, there are places in the world where I would never get a second glance because I’m not full figured.

Yet bigger women wish they were thinner. That’s a true shame, really. I hope some of them get to go to places where they get to experience men fawning over them. Every woman deserves to feel sexy. Because she is. No matter what size she may be.

If some of us thinner women are honest (and there are those of us that are), we wish we had the hips, booty and thighs that some bigger women have got. I’ve had friends that were thinner and desired to gain weight. I was one of them at a point in my life. Mostly, I wanted people to stop thinking I was sick and too thin. I felt like an ugly duckling when I was at my thinnest. Before I had time to accept my smaller size, people were thrusting their opinions on me. There were those that thought I looked amazing, which made me question how I looked before and if it was really that awful. Then there was the other camp of people that asked if I had been sick or if I was eating.

Being a person that doesn’t like to be the center of anyone’s attention, it was overwhelming. I ended up being very depressed because I thought I was ugly because of things people said. I wanted to be an in-between girl like I used to be, but maybe with some more booty. But I began to wonder if I should stay thinner because maybe I didn’t look as good as I thought I did then. It was a hard time.

You know what I hate too? The way clothing fits on bigger women, including the intimates. There is this automatic assumption that you have bigger breasts if you’re a larger woman, and that’s not always the case. I can’t imagine what the bra search must be like! Clothing designers also act like bigger women want to hide their figures under circus tents that people dare to call clothing! What for?! This is why, even though I’m not a bigger woman and never have been, I’m thankful for stores like Torrid that have fashionable clothing for plus-sized women. They deserve to look their best just as much as any skinny or in-between woman.

Now I’m still an in-between woman in terms of size, but I got the extra booty that I wanted. That was all thanks to my wonderful personal trainer. Hiring a personal trainer, even though it was for a short time, made me feel empowered and confident in my body. Through thick(er) and thin, I had never felt like that. One day recently, I tried on a swimsuit, and I actually liked the way I looked in it. My body had changed a little bit in terms of how it looked, but what really changed was my mind. If for no other reason, hiring a personal trainer was worth that.

Whatever it takes, I hope that more women start to love themselves and be comfortable in and with their bodies, no matter what size it may be at the time. Let’s face it; our bodies are going to change a lot. Though it won’t be easy all of the time, I wish we loved ourselves where we were, and not because the scale is showing a smaller number.

Only then will we be able to look at another woman and say to her “You look amazing”, and mean it, without feeling like it takes anything away from our beauty. That would be a beautiful thing.

I lost it over a tip…

…because I was in the nail salon and forgot to get cash. Yes, I had a mental fit over this. Allow me to explain.

This past weekend has been rough emotionally, as it was a weekend where the things that were bothering me had to do with being black. There are days when I don’t let it get to me, but then there are times where I feel like the world is imploding around me, like this weekend.

For those that are unaware, there is this preconceived notion that black people don’t tip, or tip poorly when it comes to anyone giving a service of some sort. Sometimes workers will decide how they’re going to treat you just by looking at you. I’ve worked jobs where I have had to rely on tips to supplement what I wasn’t getting per hour, so I know what it feels like when you don’t get tipped. Couple that with this idea that service persons have of black people, and you end up having a anxiety attack/mental meltdown in the nail salon, a place where you should be enjoying yourself.

I don’t know if anyone could tell I was freaking out and chiding myself for not getting cash, but it slipped my mind. I hadn’t been to a nail salon in 4 years, and had forgotten that they don’t take tip on cards. For non-POC, this is excusable. For me, not so much. It brought back memories of being in hair stores, which are mostly run by Asian people. I felt like I was being judged and watched, even though I would never steal from or rob anyone! Then I started thinking that the staff was ignoring me, when they really weren’t. I was so in my head that I was brushing back tears. The young man that did my nails helped pull me out of that just by being his smiling friendly self. He has no idea how much that helped me.

I promptly left the store to get cash so I could tip about 25%. Could I afford it? Not really, but he did a great job. Besides, it was nice not to be scolded for my nails being so short or for wanting them short. Female nail techs always get on me about that.

Sunday didn’t get any better. I was in church, and wasn’t sitting towards the front, like I usually do. I was on call, so I stayed towards the back. A young white man with a hoodie was in service worshipping with us. I don’t know why, but I felt a pain in my chest, which I know was anxiety. When I saw him, all I could think of was that church shooting in South Carolina. The shooter was white, and purposely targeted black people.

White people have come and gone from our church and I never thought twice about it; why was this bothering me today? I remember watching him for any unusual behavior, and taking notice of all the exits. I never recall feeling like this. Was I right to be suspicious? Why now and why with this particular person?

If I could sum up this past weekend in a word, it would be this: unsafe.

I’m not safe from people’s perceptions of me. I can’t be spared from people’s prejudices and how they’ll treat me based on how I look. There’s no reprieve from being black; it’s an every day thing. I hate how talking about it makes white people uncomfortable. Trust us, we don’t want to try to make you uncomfortable. If you do feel this way, maybe you should ask yourself why that is, because it probably has nothing to do with me.

I tossed, turned, and cried last night in bed, fretting about this. It’s something that’s not so simply changed. I wish I could talk to my counselor because she is black and could understand how I’m feeling, and she helped me get out of my head a bit. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to talk to her anymore.

In a world where being black could mean not returning home again, I feel lost and alone. I need my counselor back.

To The Childless Mother

Being a mom has nothing to do with having birthed a child. The same can be said about being a father. There are women and men that have children together, and they are not mothers or fathers. Being a mother or father is something that you already are, whether you’ve had children or not; however, having children or having someone dependent on you to be that mother or father figure brings out what has already been in you.

I think back to when I was a member at a Bally Total Fitness that was in the next town over. There was a young man that was a personal trainer named William. I scheduled a free personal training session with William and enjoyed that time. If I could have, I would have hired him to be my personal trainer because we had a great chemistry; we got on right away. At the end of it, I remember this thought passing through my head: “He’d be a great father someday.” Now William wasn’t much younger or older than me at the time, but I saw something in him that said “father”. Being a father isn’t something that you become; it’s something you already are.

Likewise, I have a friend Katie that is finally with child after quite a wait. I remember her venting to me with frustrations about not having her own children, and how she would wonder if it would happen. Needless to say, I was overjoyed to the point of tears when she made that announcement.

Katie is younger than me, and has been a mother for as long as I’ve known her, well before she married her husband and became pregnant. She has dutifully raised her nieces, who look to her as their mother, and love being with and around their “Aunt Katie”. When she lived in an apartment, she helped a grandmother that lived down the hall with two of her granddaughters. Even in those times when she was wanting her own children and didn’t know if that would happen, she availed herself to those that needed the care and nurturing of a mother; after all, that’s what she has always been.

Mother’s Day is coming up, and when people would wish me a “Happy Mother’s Day” in church, my heart would drop to my feet and shatter. I would cry uncontrollably because I wanted to be a mother and had no children to show for it. Now I understand why people were doing it; just as I saw a mothering spirit in Katie and in other women that I know (even before they had children), they must see it in me.

They can see who I am, and what I always was.

I can’t promise that I won’t cry this Mother’s Day, but I must remind myself that being a mother has nothing to do with having birthed children. Rather, it has everything to do with having the spirit of a mother. When I think back on it, I’ve been doing this since I was in high school with my friends. They didn’t take it well, but a mom has always been in me. I was much rougher then and could have stood to not be so brash with my words, but I bore no intentions of being mean. I said certain things because I cared about my friends, and wanted what was best for them. Just like any good mother would.

Happy Mother’s Day to all my childless mothers. Your influence can still leave a legacy for children that need a mother like you.

Weekend Workers

“Thank God it’s Friday!” people always said. There’s this buzz that surrounds Fridays because it signifies the end of the work week for some.

I always found the phrase to be annoying. For me and others like me, Friday is my Monday… or even hump day depending on when my work week started.

While we’re all familiar with the portion of the population that dreads Monday and drags themselves through the week trying to make it to Friday, there is that other section of the population that goes unnoticed and is unappreciated. Take nurses and cops, for example. People don’t stop being sick or breaking the law because it’s Friday. In fact, those may be busy times for nurses and police officers. There are those that overindulge and need professional medical attention… and those that overindulge and do things that land them in the back seat of a police car. I would think professions like this relate to the Lord in the sense that they neither sleep, nor slumber. Nurses and cops are always at work, keeping us healthy and safe.

Then there are privileges that we enjoy that (gasp!) involve someone having to work the weekend. Flight crews work around the clock (sometimes literally!), delivering packages, passengers, and shooting photos of the earth for GPS info. All so you can have that quick weekend in Jamaica, make your way to the dance hall using your GPS, or receive that thing you had to have from Amazon. Retailers are open on weekends, so you can get a new dress and shoes to go out in. I know; I used to work in retail.

Not to mention grocery stores and restaurants, who usually experience their highest volume of customers on the weekends. While people are so glad for it to be Friday, the real weekend warriors are working flights, bussing tables, restocking produce (that is hopefully fresh, depending on where you go), and making life livable, easier, and even enjoyable for those that work during the week.

And the night club. Those bouncers that let you in? Bartenders? Dancers (depending on where you are)? Servers (if there’s food), kitchen staff and venue owners? Yep. While you’re dancing the night away, they’re chasing Benjamins.

But hey, don’t feel sorry for us; it’s really not that bad! I actually used to love working the weekend and live to have the week off, and honestly, I still do! I have my reasons:

  • It’s not as crowded when you do any kind of shopping. You’ll rarely have to worry about a line, especially mid-morning or during the day before rush hour. Just watch out for OAPs (Old Aged Persons) with carts!
  • It’s easy to make most of your appointments because most offices are open during the week, and you’re off!
  • Some activities that people experience on the weekend will be less crowded. Sometimes you won’t be able to go dancing or do brunch, but you can do the movies and you might be the only one in the theater! The art museum will be as quiet as a church sanctuary, Reading Terminal… well, let’s face it, that will always be crowded. But there’s a stark difference between going on the weekend and going during the week. I’ve done both, and I daresay I won’t do weekends any time soon. The last time I went on the weekend was a couple of years ago. That was enough
  • No weekend price hikes! It’s terrible, but some things get more expensive on the weekend, including parking! I’ve even seen admission to places get more expensive on the weekend because places know there will be more people then. Go during the week and save that money!
  • You will NEVER experience the dread that comes with Mondays like everyone else does. That’s YOUR weekend. While everyone else has to go to work, you’re sleeping in. Preferably in your drawers. You might eat Lucky Charms in bed when you get around to waking up.
  • You might actually make more money working on the weekend. This especially applies to jobs where people tip (PLEASE tip your waitstaff).

I read a book once called “Waiter Rant”. A friend to the main character was upset because she had to miss work to be in a friend’s wedding. The reason this was so hard was because the weekends were the time for her to make up the money she wasn’t getting during the week. As a result, she couldn’t afford a gift for the bridal shower or the bachelorette party, could barely afford her dress, was short on rent, and had to endure the other bridesmaids talking badly about her.

If only those other chicks understood. They were obviously Monday through Friday 9 to 5ers who couldn’t imagine what this poor woman was going through. This isn’t to look down on 9 to 5ers, but just to give them insight into our world. I hope that they come to at least appreciate us… because without the weekend workers, what would your life be like?

#weekendcoffeeshare

And a man busted out laughing…

…after we were stuck on a small plane for around 2 hours. No, this doesn’t include the actual flight time, which was about 90 minutes more.

Being stuck on an aircraft on the taxiway isn’t fun for anyone involved. Yesterday, on a full 50-passenger aircraft, we were stuck in a holding pattern on the ground because of the weather. Nothing could take off until a new reroute was established.

For me, it’s a stressful thing when this happens. Really, it’s no one’s fault when these events take place, but you still worry that someone is going to lash out. Food seems to help. So does liquor, but there’s never enough to go around in those situations. Besides, giving away all of the alcohol is ill-advised.

The best thing I could do was smile; that was about the only defense I had. I had a smile, some pretzels, water (which was quickly depleted when I did the water service), and some cookies. It wasn’t much, but it seemed to placate people insomuch as food can. Captain made an announcement at regular intervals to update the passengers and I, even if he didn’t have much to tell us. I’ve found that if people at least know what’s going on (even if nothing new has transpired), they stay pretty calm and remain understanding.

Before said announcements, he would call me on the interphone to check on me, and keep me updated before informing passengers of the situation. “Keep smiling!” he would say cheerfully before hanging up. He has no idea how much that helped keep me going.

After about 2 hours on the ground (and like 2 rounds of snacks, including the special delay snack. oy…), we got our route and were ready for takeoff. I was ready for a nap and wanted to be off the airplane… but stewardess life is much like the life of an actor: the show must go on.

The flight proceeded just as any other flight, with me doing a service. I would’ve loved to hide in a corner, but I also wanted to see how folks were faring. Besides, they may have wanted something more than water. It turns out that they did; I sold a crazy amount of alcohol! I haven’t beat my personal best yet, but it got close. As I approached two gentlemen sitting together, one of them did ask for a beverage. “I’m fine, please”, the other replied. Then he quickly corrected himself and said “I’m fine, thank you.”

…and he laughed. It was a big, hearty, tension-breaking laugh. I could feel the atmosphere in the plane change when he did that, and it certainly shifted my mood and feelings. To be able to laugh after such an ordeal was a blessing to me, and I’m sure to those that heard him. I even laughed with him.

Those were among the nicest group of passengers I’ve had the pleasure to serve, and moments like that are why I love my job and what keeps me going on hard days. When we finally landed in Indianapolis, IN and everyone got off, we the crew were blessed with smiles and “thank yous”. The more memorable ones were “Thank you for taking care of us”, and the last passenger that got off told me I had a great smile. There were two more flights to work, and they were back-to-back so that we could catch up, but that flight helped me carry on.

The man that laughed also gave his thanks, and walked off the plane, onto the jetway, and out of sight.

Highs and Lows

If we were having coffee today, I’d be sitting at Starbucks with a java chip frappuccino today experiencing a lot of feels. I also realized that I haven’t the slightest idea as to how “frappuccino” should be spelled (you should’ve seen how many times I typed it before I caved and looked at the menu. It turns out that I spelled it right the first time around).

I’m sorry that I’ve avoided writing one of these lately… it’s just that I had wanted to record them. I recorded a few of them, and fell off of it a bit. Either way, I want to stay connected, and I regret not keeping you posted.

To be honest, I haven’t fully gotten “used to” not living at home anymore, and I still feel like I suck at being an adult. My bank account’s been negative for months, work hasn’t picked up yet, and it feels like no matter how much I work, I’m not getting anywhere. The only thing I’ve managed to overcome was my fear of talking to people about my money situation. It’s embarrassing, frustrating and humiliating, but people have been mostly supportive and as helpful as they can be. It still sucks though. The only good thing that will come out of suffering the summertime swell is that I should finally have a bank account that isn’t negative. I still must endure another 2 months before that happens, but I’ve still managed to somehow enjoy myself. Yes, I don’t have money, but most of the things I’ve needed have been met. The Lord has been looking out for me in that regard.

I just wish I felt more capable as it pertains to “properly adulting”, but since I haven’t found a good sugar daddy yet, it looks like I’m stuck on the grind. (Kidding. I’m not looking).

On the flip side of things, I’m getting to deal with things that have hurt me in the past. I’m realizing that up to now, a lot of what I’ve experienced has caused me not to like myself much at all. I’ve been finding ways to try to rectify that. In reading a lot of articles, it is suggested to focus on your good traits. This makes me seriously uncomfortable, to be honest with you… so another thing I would like to focus on is doing things I enjoy. When I’m doing something I enjoy, I am the happiest I can be. This ends up translating into being a more confident person. The caveat is that some of the stuff that I like and enjoy involves money, of which I have none.

Working is what we must do; however, taking time for oneself is just as necessary for your sanity and mental well-being. I feel like most of the reason I’m not enjoying living on my own as much as I could is because I’ve been so focused on stabilizing my financial situation.

Speaking of sanity and well-being, not having a boyfriend has been bothering me a lot lately. If I’m truthful, I’m still settling for some of what I want. I want to scream on the one hand, but it’s also soothing a sore spot on the other. I’m hoping that this whole journey in learning to like myself and working on healing what has been hurt for so long will help me to at least be satisfied with where I am… and before you go there with the “you’ll find someone one day, be patient, it happens when you least expect it” rhetoric, please save it. It irks my soul. I know that sounds rude, but I’ve heard it for so long that I can’t stomach hearing it anymore.

I could write a book on all the stuff people have said to me thinking they were being helpful, but I’d be disgusted by it so much that I’d burn the book. Yes, I have strong thoughts about this. Most of them end with me flipping the bird at whoever hands me that rubbish. Before you find yourself saying ANYTHING of the sort to someone that is single, ask yourself this question: Did it help you when you were single?

If the answer is no, and it made you feel like I currently do when people said it to you, bite your tongue immediately. Do it! Though I assure you that if it does slip, I’ll be glad to flip you off in an effort to point out that transgression.

Oh, and my car got stuck in the snow. Yes, stuck. I had to call a tow, which I ended up not needing because a van full of guys were able to push me out. Ever since that incident, the whole week has been up and down like that. Well, at least I can say that I haven’t been bored, but I left ride sharing alone for about a week after that.

Good things that happened this weekend are:

  • THE BAND GOT BACK TOGETHER… and by the band, I mean that I got to be with the friends that I hung out with in high school today! We haven’t been all together in years, and it was wonderful to see everyone again. I think it’s better now that we’re all matured and have experienced life a bit more.
  • I hung out with my friend A, her boyfriend and her sister. Banana pudding cake was involved. It was very good times.
  • I saw “Hidden Figures”. Great movie.
  • I was flying for 5 days straight, which has been the longest I’ve been out for months! I really missed flying. Before that, I was barely called at all. I got to hang with my crews a bit as well, one of which was a captain I flew with before and enjoy working with.
  • I finally successfully applied the right lash! I never had problems with the left, but the right one gives me a hard time. I fought with it for a good 5 minutes, but it’s on properly! That is all that matters.
  • I visited my mom and grandmother. I try to do this when I can/feel up to it, and managed to successfully do this twice this month. I know the month isn’t over, but that’s not bad! It also helps that I live close to both of them. Now I need to work on visiting my dad. We talk on the phone, but I’m overdue for a visit.
  • All my training at the gym is paying off; someone actually noticed a difference in my appearance! I knew I felt stronger and my endurance was a lot better, but I couldn’t tell whether or not I looked different. That was quite encouraging.

I’m so sorry for the long behind update, but it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Here’s hoping that next month is better. Heck, I’d take a better next week! I’m hoping to be more balanced emotionally, mentally, financially, and that my diet will be more balanced as well.

Looks like the key word here is balance.

#weekendcoffeeshare

 

I wanted to like it…

… but quickly found out that I don’t. It ended up being the reason that I didn’t enjoy dinner that night. This is the most frustrating thing that can happen when you don’t have much to lose concerning food.

It was a normal night at my apartment, where I was figuring out what I should eat. Nothing unusual, right? I decided to try a recipe that I had seen online, and was very excited about it. It looked delicious, and now I had the freedom to make this dish without worrying about who wouldn’t like it.

or so I thought.

I followed all the instructions, making sure to follow everything precisely. The apartment smelled amazing, and I was already salivating. When it came out looking like nothing short of something you’d see in newsprint, I was all too excite to pile some of the rice on my plate, and top it with a perfectly golden chicken thigh.

I excitedly tore off a piece of the chicken with a fork and popped it in my mouth.

Well… it wasn’t what I expected. In fact, it was a little underwhelming. I cautiously put another piece in my mouth and ate some rice with it this time. Flavorful rice makes things better…

…but it surely didn’t this time. In fact, my stomach turned a little.

What on earth happened?! I followed the directions and even made sure the thighs were cooked through! This wasn’t right; how can something so beautiful not match up in taste?? This is when I made a discovery. The cool thing about living on my own is that I’ve been discovering a lot about myself, including the things that I do and don’t like.

I don’t know why I decided to smell the smoked paprika that I bought, but I did. I took a good whiff, and immediately turned my nose up. All in one moment, I immediately saw where I went wrong and figured out why I loathe bbq chips! I had no idea bbq chips had smoked paprika in them until I smelled the spice, which smells exactly like bbq chips.

I had never tasted smoked paprika before then, and assumed in my head that it would be like chili powder; I couldn’t have been more wrong. I thought it would have the same heat, and it doesn’t, and the last thing I expected was that it would smell like one of the few things that I hate eating.

I finally found a spice that I don’t like, and it upsets me a little that I don’t… partially because that’s leftovers that I now have to waste! I don’t want to give it to someone else because it didn’t agree with my stomach, so the only place for it now will be with the squirrels that frequent the dumpsters outside.

Smoked paprika, I’m so sorry. I wanted to like you, but apparently I never did.

The moral of the story is: if something has smoked paprika in it, I’m going to do an about face and look for something else. Also, it’s okay to admit to not liking something as long as you admit it to yourself.

Now let me go out and feed the squirrels. This entry is dedicated to you guys; bon appétit!